Protecting access to health care was vital

Recently, a group of local citizens met in Oakland to thank our Washington representatives for protecting the Affordable Care Act.

Two days later, an article highlighted ACA's success by the numbers of uninsured now covered. Through personal testimonies, our group highlighted the ACA's success in bringing about peace of mind.

Numbers and dollars do not adequately reflect the value of the relief expressed by the father whose adult son had been rejected by three insurers due to his juvenile onset diabetes.

Now this father knows his son will always be protected. And the young man whose sister had been trapped in a work situation that was detrimental to her health. Thanks to ACA she has successfully started her own small business and seen her health improve. And the 60-year-old woman who was laid off from her job, unable to afford costly COBRA payments on unemployment income. And the stories continued.

Yes, peace of mind for individuals and their families is the real success of the Affordable Care Act.

Jeanne Ewy

Member, Organizing for Action East Bay Oakland

Apply compensation law plan to pols also


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I would be for the legislation discussed in the April 26 article "Legislation would link taxes to executive pay," for overblown executive pay packages as an effort to level pay inequality by company tax increases providing the bill is amended to also hold our state lawmakers accountable to the people.

This legislation would include not only excessive CEO packages but also all the lawmakers' lifetime benefits such as golden medical packages outside of Obamacare, office and travel expenses plus retirement payments.

The amended plan should also have a "claw back" section so lawmakers (and executives) convicted of bribes, special favoritism, misconduct with campaign funds, or not passing budgets/bills on time would be held accountable in the future. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Joe Wilder

Livermore

Undoing of hate will take more than pope

The author of an April 23 letter wrote she hopes that Pope Francis can appeal to common humanity and fairness and by doing so create a chance for peace in the Middle East.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce noted last February, "The PA's state-sanctioned media and educational systems systematically deny the existence of a Jewish state, arguing that Israel's existence is a direct threat to Palestinians; even asserting that the destruction of Israel is justified. People are not born to hate; it is taught. For decades the Palestinian Authority has provoked and encouraged hatred against Israel."

To teach hate is to utterly deny the humanity of others. Pope Francis cannot undo this sort of ugliness alone. The Palestinians must create a society with a mandate for peace and cease their efforts to incite hate. Only then will peace have a chance.

Julia Lutch

Davis

Don't like politics? Vote to change it

Like many, I'd rather the Supreme Court had ruled to limit campaign spending instead of allowing increased spending.

I also believe it's likely "special interests" will exploit our Constitution where the language is either absent and/or unclear. Also believing, as most do, that the Supreme Court is political in its rulings, I don't expect any change in their decision-making.

I don't believe the democratic process is served by the current situation in the court or Congress, which most believe is dysfunctional.

However, we can't blame the Supreme Court or Congress for our ills. To have an effective democracy, we citizens must vote. The special interests depend on our lack of participation in the political process. They know many eligible voters simply sit on their hands and don't vote.

How would these special interests react if they knew the overwhelming majority of eligible voters would exercise their vote? We must change the process by voting in large numbers, as the zealots do.

We cannot gripe about losing our country if we don't participate in the political process. Register and vote!

Fredrick R. Ford

Walnut Creek

Slanted article on opposition view

Robert Rogers' article "Big property owners pony up money to fight parcel tax for San Pablo hospital," was slanted to demonize opposition to Measure C.

As a homeowner, I'm fighting just as hard to defeat this tax as the so-called "big property owners." Rogers didn't point out the "yes" on Measure C side's spending much more than opponents.

Rogers omitted opponents' repeated suggestion that Doctors Medical Center be made part of the county hospital system, since it serves those without insurance. Where's the justice in asking property owners to pay for services the government requires?

Rogers makes Measure C campaign donors like Chevron, Casino San Pablo and others look like the good guys for "recognizing the crucial role DMC plays in the community" but omits the conflict of interest of Eric Zell, whose business is lobbying for big corporate interests.

Supervisor John Gioia calls opponents "irresponsible ... wealthy real estate developers ... care more about their profits than the health-care needs of West County residents." Where's the evidence for this statement? Proponents demonize anyone opposing their insatiable need for more taxpayer dollars!

Mike Ali-Kinney

Richmond